Take 5 w/VIAA: Breaking Mental Health Stigmas One Song at a Time

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Welcome to "Take 5," a series highlighting people we love and the things they love.

Meet Mia Coleman otherwise know as VIAA: Hailing from Dayton, OH and creating a legacy in Los Angeles, VIAA is a true testament to hard work, dedication and personal growth. When you're in VIAA's presence, you want to be your most authentic self because she is.

Since releasing her debut EP in 2018, VIAA has been busy touring the country and writing new music all while owning her personal struggles and normalizing the ups and downs of each season of life. This woman is a true role model for accountability.

Currently in what she's calling her "rebirth" season, VIAA shares that, "Nothing in my life or career is what it used to be pre-pandemic. I had to let the "pre-pandemic me" die, figure out who I am now, and reconnect to why I make music. I got here by allowing myself to mourn my old lifestyle - I still am in mourning actually, but getting closer to a place of acceptance thankfully."

We took 5 with VIAA immediately following the release of her newest single "Myself," which is an ode to, you guessed it, honoring and releasing negative stories you've written about yourself. VIAA is on a mission to inspire people to lean away from comparison and into their truest selves simply by living in her truth. We 👏🏾Love 👏🏾 To 👏🏾 See 👏🏾 It 👏🏾

Get to know VIAA and stream "Myself" on Spotify right here while you read 🤩

Full Name: Mia Coleman

Title: VIAA, Singer-Songwriter & Recording Artist

Where are you from: Dayton, OH

Where do you live: Los Angeles, CA

1. What’s the inspiration behind “Myself?"

The inspiration behind "Myself" came from feeling the pressure to be something I'm not - that I'm less than or lacking things and need to change in order to become successful. Those feelings were coming from my own insecurities, social media comparisons, and my management at the time. "Myself" is a 'fuck you' to that unworthy and undeserving feeling because I am enough just being my most authentic self. If someone can't see that, I need to let them go.

2. What's something you do in private that you can share with us: 

Masturbate lol

3. Do you feel a responsibility as a singer/songwriter/performer? 

I feel a responsibility to myself to keep faith in art and music during these trying times and not feel defeated, letting the evils of the world win.

I also feel a responsibility to others to be as authentic as possible in my music, performances, and social media platforms. This world feels surreal in how overwhelming and crazy it is right now (and I guess has always been but with less exposure). I think social media has skewed our perception of reality in every way, with artists being no exception. I try to be as real as possible so that people on the outside looking in feel they have someone they can truly relate to regarding their struggles, insecurities, and imperfections.

4. If you could invite 5 people to dinner, dead or alive, who would they be? 

  • Rick Rubin: I'm inspired by his optimism and adaptability with artists. 

  • Angela Davis: She endlessly fights for Black people and humankind.

  • Alexandria Ocasio Cortez: She's met with adversity at every turn, yet she remains a confident, authentic, and good person.

  • Joni Mitchell: She seems like she is constantly connecting to herself and figuring out what makes her happy, (not just with music, but other mediums like painting etc)

  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe: She is a Black woman and the pioneer of R&B and rock and roll

5. If your life had a soundtrack, what would play when you 

  1. Wake up: "Plantasia" Mort Garson

  2. Workout (if you do that): "Becoming" Diana Gordon

  3. Write music: "Stayaway" MUNA

  4. Hang with friends: "Do it" Chloe & Halle

  5. Are alone: "Tears Ricochet" Taylor Swift

  6. Going to sleep: "Nights" Frank Ocean 

6. Bonus Q: What's one piece of advice you'd tell someone who feels lost in the world right now? I think taking a break from social media altogether or at least weening themselves off of it is essential. Also, getting more involved in your community in whatever way feels organic is helpful, even just digitally to be safe as we are still in the midst of a pandemic. We're all so engulfed in social media and the 24 hr news cycle, we forget that we make a difference in the real world and there are more good people out there than we're led to believe. Life isn't all about working, hopefully getting rich, then dying: it's about living a purposeful life with meaningful human connection in it, leaving out any outside judgment or influence from social media.

Connect with VIAA on social media @viaa.miaa and on Spotify.


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